Review: 2009 Aprilia Shiver SL 750 MSRP: $8,999

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PINT-SIZED POWERHOUSE IS PERFECT CITY BIKE

The name “Aprilia” conjures up flowers, gentle rain and allergies, hardly concepts a company wants a new motorcycle associated with. But couple the manufacturer’s tame name with its new Shiver, an Elvis-like stunner with gold-colored handlebars, trellis frame and brakes, and a star is born.

A snotty, noisy little firecracker is the Shiver. This dinky cruiser snapped me like a rubber band through and around traffic over the decidedly un-scenic Route 87 adjacent to Manhattan’s East Side and over the Willis Avenue bridge in heavy traffic. Like a welterweight boxer—albeit one weighing 415 pounds—I was able to bob, weave and take the blows of the road like a champ and dish it out on the straightaways, too.

The Shiver’s few caveats are its headlights, which, even with high beams on, don’t illuminate the road very well. Also, its mirrors fold in nicely but don’t loosen like on some other bikes.Overall, however, a ferocious powerhouse. I’d buy this thing.

SPECS:

  • 90° V2 engine with four valve cylinder head, double overhead camshaft and liquid cooling.
  • Ride by Wire technology for electronic control of the throttle bodies;
  • Electronic fuel injection with latest generation injectors;
  • Mixed gear and chain valve timing;
  • Three way catalytic converter on the exhaust, Euro 3 compliant
  • Dismountable trellis/aluminium frame for high torsional rigidity;
  • Aluminium swingarm with reinforcement truss and lateral shock absorber;
  • 43 mm upside down fork;
  • Racing brakes with radial caliper at front.